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  #1  
Old July 9th, 2014, 06:44 PM
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John Edelmann
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Oil Smell?

I have a '94 D90 with 86K miles on it. There is a rather strong smell of 'burning oil' coming from the engine which I can detect walking around the front of the truck but what's worse it's equally as strong inside the vehicle. The smell permeates everything: upholstery, clothing, gear, luggage. Everything.

It's been present since I bought the car a year ago but gets worse as the engine heats up. On a recent trip from Moab to Chicago the oil smell was so intense it irritated my eyes and throat and left a "film" on the interior windows.

At first I thought it was due to leaks in the transmission seal or the power steering pump both of which I had replaced and now can report that my D90 is 100% leak-free (at least there's no evidence on the garage floor) but the oil smell still persists.

I searched through the Forum for other members who may have had this problem but saw most of the dialogue was around fuel odors. This is my second D90 so I know that "rovers leak oil" and a little fuel/oil stink is expected...but this is beyond the norm.

Any insights or thoughts on what this could be?

Your help is most appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old July 9th, 2014, 06:54 PM
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Bill Adams
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Valve cover gaskets. Check that the little (5/16ths 12 point) bolts that hold the valve covers down are tight. Otherwise, some quality time with a lamp and crawling under the truck seem to be in your future.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Valve cover gaskets. Check that the little (5/16ths 12 point) bolts that hold the valve covers down are tight. Otherwise, some quality time with a lamp and crawling under the truck seem to be in your future.
If it's not this I would guess that the rear seal may be the culprit since you are getting oil fog in the cab too. Is the truck here or in Chicago right now?
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  #4  
Old July 9th, 2014, 09:58 PM
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Thanks, guys. A post-Moab cleaning and diligent inspection are in order. I'll check out all of your recommended areas and report back. The truck is in Chicago for the Summer but will return to sunny Phoenix this Fall! Thanks again.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 10:43 PM
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When you say no leaks, do you mean no drips? These can leak a lot without dripping on the ground. Since you're smelling it, there is likely a leak onto the exhaust which is probably the valve cover gaskets as previously stated. Post some pics of the engine and underside.
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  #6  
Old July 10th, 2014, 07:31 AM
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You're correct, Jimmy. No leaks = no drips. Clearly, there's some oil leakage from somewhere. I'm going to take a close look over the weekend and I'll let you guys know. Thanks for your advice.
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  #7  
Old July 10th, 2014, 08:32 AM
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something is leaking oil...not necessarily the engine.
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Old July 10th, 2014, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Valve cover gaskets. Check that the little (5/16ths 12 point) bolts that hold the valve covers down are tight. Otherwise, some quality time with a lamp and crawling under the truck seem to be in your future.
I concur, had a leak on a car of mine here, splashed on the exhaust manifold and promptly burned off, wasn't visible on the engine at all. I replaced 3 oil seals and still burning oil.

I then did the valve cover gasket and viola; it had clearly been compromised and this took care of the problem
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Old July 10th, 2014, 09:33 AM
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Just for your paranoia factor, I burned up a truck that had an oil leak. Transmission line to oil cooler under the floor hump. Went completely unnoticed until the truck began filling with smoke. It had been spitting on the hot Y pipe.
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Old July 10th, 2014, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
something is leaking oil...not necessarily the engine.
Time for Depends?
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  #11  
Old July 10th, 2014, 12:59 PM
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2˘ worth. For free no less

Washed mine off from the top, car washed again, got underneath it, went after it with Castrol superkleen, oven cleaner(NaOH), & a coupla other degreasers. Was real good & clean top to bottom. Then took a coupla large bottles of baby powder & dusted the whole engine compartment down & underneath all the way back to rear axle. Drove it few 20-30 miles & had a leak from the 1st 3 front, driver side oil pan bolts. Everywhere else was still dry powder, even after 100+ miles. Rinsed it off & decided not worth messin with. Just my shadetree expertise, I'll waive the 2˘ fee.(BTW, the oil smell inside my truck pretty much gone after the thorough cleaning, hit it with a degreaser from time to time now that I know where it's coming from)
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Old July 10th, 2014, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
15 minutes and a can of 'the right stuff' will seal that pan up for good.

-Jeff
so good youll never ever be able to remove it
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  #13  
Old July 10th, 2014, 04:30 PM
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Right Stuff

Haven't used this permatex product(yet), but do you do like other gasket makers? Apply a nice bead, smear flat & even, let it skin over then bolt it up? I know I said it wasn't worth messing with but, well, you know how that goes...
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Old July 10th, 2014, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by rover4x4 View Post
so good youll never ever be able to remove it
You won't need to since it will never leak!
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  #15  
Old July 18th, 2014, 01:21 PM
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Still no leaks

Guys,
I degreased and pressure washed the engine (which was a mess of grease, dirt and muck) and looked high and low for a leak. Nothing. Checked the valve covers, checked the bolts, valley pan and it's dry everywhere.

I took it to my mechanic to have him double check and he said that he's never seen such a leak free D90 in his life.

So I asked him what he thought the oil smell could be and he thought that the PO's installed exhaust system could be the culprit as the tail pipe is cut short and he thought could be circulating exhaust into the vehicle. Going to extend the tailpipe to see if that mitigates the problem.

So, I'm hoping it was either the muck on the engine burning off or the tailpipe issue.

Time will tell.

Thanks again for your advice. Very much appreciated.
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Old July 18th, 2014, 02:02 PM
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I'd also check the PCV system to ensure that blow-by wasn't leaking into the engine compartment and finding it's way inside the vehicle. Also, look at the breather tubes for the transmission, transfercase, and both axles. If something was overfilled it's possible the smell and mist you've decribed is actually coming from one of those when things get heated up.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 04:31 PM
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Guys,

I had the D90 at a mechanic this week for an unrelated issue and they found a crack in one of the exhaust manifold gaskets. Had both gaskets replaced and I think...it was the cause of smell in the cabin. Thanks to each and every one of you for your suggestions. I considered each and every one of them.
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